CIA Group eyes North America, Far East

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LONDON -- London-based media network the CIA Group is turning its sights on North America and the Far East following consolidation of its European network.

It announced August 27 a beefed-up European board, under the leadership of Mainardo de Nardis, 36, former managing director of CIA Medianetwork Europe, as its newly-promoted chief executive.

Reasons for the European restructure are two-fold. Firstly, the aim is to concentrate power more clearly at the center of European operations in London, to ensure cohesion and consistency among all CIA offices around Europe and so retain and win pan-European business.

Secondly, it frees up Chris Ingram, founder and chairman of the CIA Group, and David Reich, chief executive of the group, to focus on other regions. Europe contributes the majority of the group's income, with billings of $3.3bn for 1997.

"Before, we said we couldn't do more than two continents at a time," says Ingram. "Maybe that's lacking in ambition. We thought we'd get Europe and Asia in place. The logical thing now is to look at the Far East and North America."

Ingram wouldn't be specific about U.S. plans but said: "We'd like to be of some significance in the U.S. by the end of next year. We can't understand why people think it's too late to enter the American market."

All CIA offices across Europe will now operate under a single brand - CIA Medianetwork Europe. The network's clients include Novartis, Ericsson, Visa and Harley-Davidson.

Copyright August 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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